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How to Reduce High Turnover

By Erika Miller
Illustration of an empty desk with a vacant sign.

In business, you win some, you lose some — but lose too many, and you might be up a creek.

Turnover is a natural part of owning a business, and it doesn’t always mean the worst either; workers retire, take breaks, and quit their jobs for a variety of reasons.

Truthfully, turnover is like paying quarterly taxes or getting sleepy at night: it’s guaranteed. But if turnover expectations are way higher than your previous benchmarks (i.e., +15% or more), it might be time to take a closer look.

Let’s explore the ins and outs of employee turnover rates, focusing on ways to improve workplace retention over time. If you happen to be in the market for tools that help you do this, stay tuned! We’ve got a suggestion just for you.

So what are employee turnover rates?

Employee turnover describes the rate at which employees leave a company. And by leave, we mean getting fired, laid off, quitting of their own volition, and otherwise moving on (i.e., retirement).

Using this definition, we understand employee turnover rates to be the measurement of turnover using tangible numbers and time frames. Think of tracking the number of employees in a set time period, usually on a quarterly or yearly basis.

Turnover looks a lot different for a lot of different industries. In fact, the less experience or specific knowledge they require, the higher their rates will be. For example, the construction industry has a turnover rate of 56.7%. Highly trained government positions, on the other hand, clock in at just 18%.

So while employee turnover isn’t the greatest, it’s not necessarily unhealthy. As long as it stays low, that is.

What does a high turnover rate mean for a job?

One word: turnover costs.

image with text - High turnover costs: $4,000-$5,000 for new employes, 150%-400% annual salary for experienced employees, and $5,000 per month for position vacancy.

The higher your turnover gets, the higher your associated costs will be. After all, training, hiring costs, and internal benefits aren’t cheap. When employees turn over too quickly, you lose a lot of ROI in a short period of time – which costs a lot more than just your company Christmas bonus.

Going by the numbers, high turnover rates cost:

Keep in mind that high turnover rates can be caused by things outside your control — even global pandemics. In 2020, the average turnover rate across all industries was a whopping 57.3%. The number you should be aiming for? Just 10%.

As you might imagine, higher turnover rates are neither sustainable nor supportable. While not everything is under your control, there are a few things you can do to regulate or reduce climbing percentages. And no, they’re not half as intimidating as you think.

How can I go about reducing employee turnover?

The first step to solving a problem is recognizing you’ve got one.

Here’s how to reduce your employee turnover rates using smarts, some insight, and a little elbow grease.

Workshop your company culture

Having bad culture isn’t just a cosmetic issue; it’s a silent killer that can wreak havoc in the workplace.

image with text - toxic company culture is the number one reason why employees resign from their positions.

We’re not just saying that, either. Research shows that toxic company culture is the number one reason why employees resign from their positions. If you don’t put a stop to culture problems now, you could be hosting a number of farewell parties throughout the year.

Spend some time actively listening to your employees, looking for trends or similar concepts that point toward a common pain point. Pulse surveys at this stage are a great idea, especially if they’re anonymous.

Restructure the work environment

Company culture is one thing, but company environment is another. This primarily includes the workplace hierarchy, such as how supervisors are hired, trained, and supported with awesome employee management skills.

If you’re not doing this for your managers already, it’s best to start with the basics. Give your supervisors some great resources with regular workshops or internal documents, getting them one step closer to earning a ‘#1 Boss’ mug.

Great managers make for great employees. The less micromanaged everyone feels, the better. And if you have ways to put supervisory positions up for grabs for employees, everybody wins.

Focus on career development

Nearly one in two employees want ways to grow in their career. If your business doesn’t have opportunities to learn new skills or get promoted, even the loyalest team members will eventually move on.

This one’s an easy fix. Start by making promotions both accessible and well publicized within your company. In the meantime, give interested parties legitimate steps for professional development, offering conference opportunities, subsidized webinars, and even an educational stipend.

Smart businesses know that career development is a hidden weapon for success, which is why they encourage employees to take advantage of new learning opportunities. And did we mention 94% of employees would stay at companies that help them learn? Yeah — that’s a mic drop.

Activate employee engagement

Is employee engagement a bit of a buzzword these days? Sure. But does that make it any less critical for controlling high turnover rates? Absolutely not!

Employee engagement comes from a lot of things, but we suspect recognition is number one. More than 44% of people switch jobs if they don’t get enough. But employees who do get enough are 56% less likely to quit their jobs.

Seeing a pattern here? Us too. Which is why we encourage you to make employee engagement a big thing at your company.

Start with:

  • Making everyone feel recognized in a very tangible way. No more ‘nice job’ cards on desks. We’re talking cash rewards, people!
  • Tracking your eNPS score (employee net promoter score) to see where employees think you can improve as a brand. It never hurts to check!
  • Digging into data with detailed turnover reports and analytics. Do your thing, number crunchers!
image with text - The sooner you kick-start an employee engagement strategy, the sooner you’ll see results in your employee turnover rates.

The sooner you kick-start an employee engagement strategy, the sooner you’ll see results in your employee turnover rates.

But we get it; it’s hard to get going without the right tools for the job. That’s why we’ve already done it for you — with all the bells and whistles, too!

Boost your employee engagement with Motivosity

Turnover rates are a tough reality, but employee engagement? That’s tougher still.

At Motivosity, we believe the secret to a successful venture starts with recognition and engagement. We’re experts at helping you bring sky-high turnover rates back to the launch pad, with platforms for managers and employees alike. We’ve got way more than just hot takes, with a variety of useful tools that compliment real-world use cases.

It’s not actually magic, but it almost feels that way. That’s what our 5,000+ five-star reviews say, anyway!

Let’s put your turnover rates back where they belong. Get a demo of Motivosity today to see what we can do for both your brand and your employees. We’ll see you there!